Several weeks ago, I was speaking to my dearest friend, Terry. She was going through some stressful times. I told her a story about a conversation I had had the night before. I was standing in the prison med line in the medical department as is my nightly routine. I got into a conversation with a fellow convict and believer about how wonderful it is to have our faith. We discussed how blessed we are even in prison. An older man who was in line with us interjected with, “Oh y’all are blessed and favored, huh? What are you doing in prison if your so blessed?”
I looked at him and said, “Only my body is in prison. My soul belongs to GOD. I am blessed because I have a guaranteed spot in heaven when my soul leaves this body. That’s how I have joy… even in here.”
At that, he laughed. ” Ha ha ha!!!! That’s a good one alright. How ya know if there’s a Heaven fool?”
“My LORD promised me that there is and that I have a place in HIS divine kingdom,” I said with complete conviction.
“Well ain’t you something then huh?”, he said.
“You could go to Heaven too,” I said. “You could have the same joy as I do.”
“Look at me!”, he said. “You see these rotten legs and the sickness and age in my body?” He is in his sixties and his legs are necrotic. The tissue is dying and the doctors want to amputate them, but he won’t let them. “I only got 8 teeth left out of 32. My bones and my joints ache and my back is crooked. GOD AIN’T DONE NOTHING FOR ME! I got no reason to feel joy. Ain’t no Heaven. This here is hell!”, he passionately proclaimed.
There was no consoling him. No matter what I or my brother in Christ said, he wouldn’t hear it.
When I had finished with the story, I said to Terry, “Don’t be like the man with the dead legs. Have faith in GOD and be joyful.”
“Wow!” she said. “That was a great story. You should write it down and share it with others.”
All of that happened weeks before I ever the words: “coronavirus” or “COVID-19”. I dragged my feet when it came to writing this and I am glad that I did because now is a very fitting time for this story.
Our country and our world is going through a lot right now. Faith is what we need right now. It is what will sustain us through this. As I am writing this, I am in a prison for something I didn’t even do. Prison is probably the worst place to be during a plague. It is close quarters and there is no escaping a virus. Not far from here, 12 people have died in a veterans home. To top it all off, I have both asthma and a chronic lung disease. Which means I am among the most likely people to die if I catch this virus. Not only that, but the people who run this place, the ones in charge of my care, are also the most dangerous threats to me. Any one of them could become infected and thus infect me. Some of them refuse to wears masks and gloves, putting me at even greater risk. Am I scared? Sometimes. But when I feel low, I remember the second song of praise I ever learned way back when I was a child in Sunday school. “HE’S GOT THE WHOLE WORLD IN HIS HANDS. HE’S GOT THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD IN HIS HANDS. HE’S GOT THE TINY LITTLE BABIES IN HIS HANDS. HE’S GOT THE WHOLE WORLD IN HIS HANDS.” That song plays in my head and I am soothed. I pray and recite Romans 8:28. I remind myself of John 3:16. I hold on to the hope and promise that I have in JESUS. PRAISE HIS NAME AND SHOUT HALLELUJAH!!!!!!! GOD is with us! Of whom shall we be afraid, my brothers and sisters? I am not afraid to physically die for my soul will live forever in the kingdom of GOD!!!!!!!! If you believe yours will too, then shout Amen!!!!!!!!! And fear not for you are a child of GOD and yours is the kingdom of Heaven!!!!!!!
Now, I know times is hard. Some of you have lost your jobs. You can’t pay your rent and you don’t know where your next meal or paycheck will come from. Maybe you own a small business and the stimulus may not be enough to save it. You might get buried in debt. Perhaps your house is headed for foreclosure or you’re dipping into your kids college fund or maybe your retirement fund. I say, “Rejoice and have faith in GOD!!!!!!!!!” GET ON YOUR KNEES AND PRAISE HIM FOR KNOW MATTER WHAT HAPPENS YOU WILL BE OKAY!!!!!!! Maybe you’ve been praying and haven’t gotten what you asked for. HE does things in HIS own time not ours. The Jews prayed and prayed for deliverance yet they spent 400 years in captivity before GOD sent them Moses. HE made them promises and HE made good on them in HIS time. I say rejoice and have faith right now.
You know, I don’t know what’s coming. Where I am sitting right now I am helpless. I have zero control over what happens. What I can control is my faith and my attitude. I don’t know about you, but personally, I do not trust the news. I saw how unfair and untruthful they truly are through my case. If you knew a friend or family member who stretched out the truth, lied at times, or sensationalized stories, you wouldn’t exactly take their word for it when they told you things. You would consider the source and their motivations. Its scary depending on that source to tell you what’s going on. Your mind can get away on you and anxiety, fear, sadness, and depression take over. Peace and be still. GOD IS GREAT ALL THE TIME. If you’re saved you will be okay no matter what happens. If you’re not, then I pity you. That is a very unsettling position to be in. If I were you I would consider where I’m going should I die. I implore you to seek and accept JESUS as your personal LORD and SAVIOR. Do it now without any doubt or delay. If you mean it, I promise you that everything will work in your favor.
To all you true believers I say to you, “Rejoice and be calm. Don’t be like the man with dead legs!”
I LOVE ALL OF YOU IN CHRIST!!!
May GOD Bless and Keep you all and may GOD BLESS AMERICA, LAND THAT I LOVE. STAND BESIDE HER AND GUIDE HER!!!!!!! AMEN AND AMEN!!!!!!!
LOVE IN CHRIST,
RANDALL S. DALUZ ( A MAN WITH FAITH!)